The original meaning of Fix Released was that end users can download or access a release of the software in which the bug is fixed. Some projects use it this way, such as Launchpad itself, even when the status doesn't really make sense (for example bug 186702, bug 271781). But in Ubuntu, Fix Released means "a fix was uploaded to an official Ubuntu repository" <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/Status>; the bug might not yet be fixed even in the latest beta version, let alone the latest release. For Ubuntu to adopt the original meaning would be infeasible, even once mass status changes are introduced, because unless bug 341687 is fixed *and* includes an optimisation to not email every bug separately, the resulting flood of e-mail on release day would be overwhelming for recipients.
This vagueness and inconsistency makes Launchpad harder to understand: for example, Bryce Harrington reports that "the distinction between 'Fix Committed' and 'Fix Released' has been ambiguous to Inkscapers" <http://bryceharrington.org/drupal/node/18>. It may also cause grief later on, just as different interpretations of Incomplete caused grief when expiration of Incomplete bug reports was introduced.not usable by Ubuntu and other very busy projects
It's not enough for Fix Committed and Fix Released to have a difference in meaning; to be worth keeping distinct, they would also need a *functional* difference that saves more time than the time spent distinguishing between them. Currently the only functional difference is that in a normal search, Fix Committed bug reports are shown but Fix Released bug reports are not. This was intended to cut down on duplicates, by showing users only those bug reports that may still be affecting them. But this doesn't work for Ubuntu (bug 90738), where a bug is marked Fix Released while the vast majority of users are still using versions with the bug unfixed. Partly to counteract this, the "Is the bug you’re reporting one of these?" list includes Fix Released bugs, but that won't work after a few years, as the suggestions become dominated by bugs that were fixed years ago (cf. bug 76744).
I suggest that the distinction between "Fix Committed" and "Fix Released", while meaningful, is not appropriate in Launchpad because it's consuming more developer and QA time than it saves. To resolve this, I propose that:
(1) "Fix Committed" and "Fix Released" be merged into "Fixed";
(2) a text field be introduced for bugtasks, so developers (and Soyuz) can record the version/versions in which a bug was Fixed;
(3) project maintainers be able to configure how long a bug report remains visible in default search results after the bug is Fixed (for Ubuntu this might be 12 months, while for Launchpad itself it could be 60 days);
(4) the "Is the bug you’re reporting one of these?" list treat bug statuses just like the normal search does, including fixed bugs only if they were fixed recently.
Removing Fix Committed as a status would make fixing bug 341687 unnecessary.